World Children’s Day: Indonesian children reimagine a more sustainable post-COVID-19 world

Indonesia’s young changemakers talk about climate crisis and environmental solutions with UNICEF National Ambassador Nicholas Saputra

19 November 2020
A small girl holds an older boy’s hand as they wade across a flooded street
UNICEF/UNI135239/Estey
On 18 January, a small girl holds an older boy’s hand as they wade across a flooded street in the Kampung Melayu area of East Jakarta. Their home was completely inundated when the nearby Ciliwung River overflowed its banks.

JAKARTA, 20 November 2020 – To mark World Children’s Day in Indonesia, children and young people from across the country will take part in a livestream event on 20 November to highlight the impact of climate change and environmental degradation and reimagine a greener and more sustainable world.

During the event, several young environmental changemakers will join UNICEF National Ambassador Nicholas Saputra to discuss the challenges they face in their communities and share solutions they are working on.

  • Anastasia Dita, 25, an indigenous youth activist from Palangka Raya, will talk about her work to empower youth on issues of social justice, indigenous culture and rights, and the protection of forests in Kalimantan.
  • Arisya G. Ramadhani (Ica), 19, from Lintau, West Sumatra will talk about how her work empowers local youth to improve the welfare of their communities through sustainable, community-based agro-education.
  • Riyan Rinaldi, 23, from Lumajang, will speak about how his work involves providing clean water through the ‘hidram’ non-electrical water pump to local women and young people in East Java.

“Many young people in Indonesia are doing amazing things in their actions to mitigate the climate crisis,” said UNICEF Ambassador Nicholas Saputra. “We need to listen to their ideas, because they have the right to speak up and be heard about all issues that affect their lives and future.”

The online event is part of a global series of talks between changemakers and UNICEF ambassadors including David Beckham, Millie Bobbie Brown, Orlando Bloom and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. In Indonesia, it is the latest in several initiatives to amplify the voices of young people and listen to how they want to reimagine their future.

“Climate crisis means something different in every area. We need to understand each situation and start climate action from the small things, and make it a daily habit,” young changemaker Riyan said. “Then, we need to understand the potential of our surroundings, to see what solutions can be developed, so our climate action can be even more impactful.”

Indonesia is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, and the onset of climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters such as flooding, storms and haze, as well as environmental degradation.

Also, air pollution is the third leading risk factor for death in children under 5 in Indonesia, due to unsafe cookstoves and as a result of open-air burning, car emissions, unclean energy sources, peatland fires, and rapid urbanization.

“Young people are telling us that they are concerned about the climate crisis and need more information to be able to take action,” said UNICEF Representative Debora Comini. “World Children’s Day is an opportunity to hear from them about the challenges they face and what they would like their future to look like.”

In the weeks leading up to November 20, UNICEF in Indonesia invited children and young people to share their perspectives on the climate crisis and environmental issues through several activities, including a survey conducted through Indonesia’s U-report platform among 900 respondents.

  • Nearly all survey respondents (98 per cent) said they feel worried about the climate crisis, with 93 per cent reporting there had been a climate-related disaster or environmental degradation where they live in the past 12 months.
  • Most (97 per cent) said they had taken some climate action – such as using less electricity, disposing of waste properly, refusing to use plastic straws.
  • Almost all (99 per cent) said they need more information and support to tackle the climate crisis: 37 per cent said they wanted to learn more from extra-curricular activities, community events or school and 44 per cent wanted to learn more from social media.

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To connect to the livestream event at 15:00 on 20 November, visit: https://bit.ly/HariAnakSeduniaUNICEF

Media contacts

Kinanti Pinta Karana
Communications Specialist
UNICEF Indonesia
Tel: +62 8158805842

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